Tag Archives: People

Male circumcision is genital mutilation: the sharp unconcerned gender disparity as written by news media language

circ-egypt

Frogtown, USA–I never really thought about the topic of circumcision much, especially in relation to change or making change within–I think my fate is sealed, was sealed before my brain could function enough to say perhaps “no, sounds painful”.

Maybe once in high school though I thought about it being a private matter.  The idea of male circumcision and what it meant.  I still don’t understand much about it, however many males in America are circumcised.  I think the act could be because of religion or because of hygiene, it could be.

You see, I won’t research that.  I don’t care if it is because of “religion” or “hygiene”, they why doesn’t matter.

The matter at hand is that male “genital mutilations” or “circumcisions” happen and there are limited media reports of them in comparison to female “genital mutilation” stories.  I find it odd that a prevalent practice performed on one gender (male) is considered normal while a similar practice performed on another gender (female) is considered a news worthy, and possible criminal charge.  And, as a self-identified male, I find this a bit unfair.  (But that doesn’t fit into the Narrative.) download

I do not believe female “genital mutilation” or “circumcisions” should make the news if, at the same time, a majority of male “genital mutilations” or “circumcisions” do not make the news in an equal capacity.

And yet, why is there little concern that “most adult men are circumcised“.  Does this not concern the media or the activists that wish to protect human rights.  Also, why is male “circumcision” not considered ubiquitously as male “genital mutilation”?

Recent news stories focused on female “genital mutilation” prompted me to delve back into the topic of “circumcision” in males, that, and the experience of having a baby boy.

As a parent I have to decided the fate of my child’s physical dimensions.  There is no cry from protesters or the pundits when it comes to this private and personal decision at the hospital, not view as damage or irreversible harm but rather as an “option” to think about before birth.

So, think about this, as from above most American males are “circumcised”, or have experience “genital mutilation”.  In recent years, however, male circumcisions in America are on the decline.  Why is this?  Perhaps because male circumcision is actually male “genital mutilation”, period, and the mainstream media doesn’t care.

They play with terminology when it works with their ideology, but cutting flesh from one person is the same as cutting from another, no matter race, creed, or gender.  images

In conclusion, the decision to “circumcise” or to “mutilate” not is a highly personal decision, and a final one.  Accordingly, I believe that not only do we need to reconsider how we change our bodies but how we change the bodies of the future.

Moreover, I believe we need to understand and keep meanings and definitions in relation to words and genders equal, especially within news media language and context; we observe male “circumcisions” or  “mutilations” as somehow not as equally alarming as female genital mutilation.  Perhaps the lack of concern shown to one gender over another by mainstream news is the actual shocking news story that everyone wants but no one wants to hear.

As a self-identified male, I haven’t heard of any bills being made to save our (fore)skins, pun intended, in relation to “circumcisions” or actual male “genital mutilation”.  Alike, I think all “genital mutilation”, in relation to all genders, is mutilation, destruction, and potentially a crime which disfigures the human body.  Reconsider this when the idea arises in local reports or national breaking news.  download.jpg

Language is the key to this matter.  You call something “circumcision” and then you call something “genital mutilation”, on the grounds of gender, and you assume a bias in the language you use to describe an action.  Which is which?

That is the crux of this biscuit, the matter at hand.  If we use the somewhat necessary innocuous and accepted language to describe an horrendous act, is that act then acceptable, and should that act be called something different depending on who it is done to?  Because that happens now, today, on the topic put forth above.

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I am no advocate, activist, or professional on the topic “genital mutilation”.  I am merely stating concern over the potential bias within the media coverage of one agenda over another, one gender over another, through language and terminology.

These are my views.  I am open to free discussion and open dialogue on the topic of circumcision/genital mutilation, please comment as necessary.  Thank you for reading.  No hate please, I try to stay positive.

 

 

I know exactly how you feel

How does a person describe something that they are not?

Poorly…

Crime Alerts at the University of Minnesota: Enabling Crime?

At times I wonder why the University of Minnesota even tells us anything at all about crimes. Is it a scare-tactic to be vague with details, not giving crucial information to the general public/student body, while allowing those to speculate, while criminals run at large? Is it to show they (campus police and administration) are on it… they have an idea of what is going on—control, perhaps? How useful are these “crime alert” emails? What purpose do they serve?

Recently, because of issues with defining distinct aspects of an individual’s appearance, make-up, within crime reports: assumed generalizations, problematic language, suggested stereotypes, and the political correctness of the University etc., the student body no longer has access to pertinent and informative accounts/descriptions of suspects who commit crimes on victims at gunpoint, near or around campus.

Not only is the act of ambiguity within these emails confusing, it, perhaps, enables more crime. Perchance, if a criminal were under the impression that said criminal’s description were forbidden from being released to the general public/student body, then why would that criminal be apprehensive about committing the same crime again? It appears to me that if there are no repercussions to committing a crime, why would a criminal not do it again? Sharing the identity, description, appearance of a suspect is imperative to creating a safe community, and particularly a safe and informed campus.

To be straightforward, if a person commits a crime, the gender, sex, attire, and physical appearance witnessed, of that person, comes into play as that person’s identity. That unique identity, make-up, appearance, description, and those characteristics of a person, do not have the right to be protected or withheld from the general public by the administration, specifically for the safety of the law abiding citizen. If I walk outside, my identity is visible—I am visibly unique as an individual, as most. A victim should have the right to be able to use and share that information to help identify a suspect, while informing others of this information.

These aimless emails, “crime alerts”, do nothing to create community awareness, they only act as vague warnings to those who venture out into society, while shielding actual criminals. Perhaps “crime alerts” should say: be afraid, stay inside, and fear the unknown. Have people not seen No Country for Old Men? In the film protagonists are searching for a suspect, an amateur sheriff suggest they radio a description of the suspect, the wise sheriff counters by suggesting, “Well, what are we searching at… looking for a man who has recently drunk milk?” The wise sheriff does this as he takes a sip from a glass of milk. At least give some form of description, or these emails serve no purpose whatsoever.

One thing I have learned at the University of Minnesota is that if you want to write something, anything, have a purpose for writing, declare an idea/concept, and make an attempt to prove that idea/concept. My idea/concept is that these alerts/reports are essentially useless, unless they give detailed descriptions of the perpetrator.

Moreover, the student body receives emails of this type evermore frequently (especially in the warm months), with little to no detail of the culprit. I say, let someone else write these emails, someone with more imagination, if you want to keep them vague. Perhaps have a sketch artist come in, draw a cartoon, I don’t know. I say, give me the opportunity to write the email. Every email would be the same, non-descriptive and useless, and go something like this: A human being robbed another human being. I thought you should know. Try to be safe out there.

Here is an example, unedited, of the emails the University of Minnesota student body receives when a crime occurs:

Crime Alert: Twin Cities Campus
“On Wednesday, April 15 at approximately 12:25 a.m., a robbery occurred off campus near the intersection of 27th Avenue SE and Talmage Avenue SE. The incident occurred in close proximity to the Como Student Community Cooperative. One of the two victims is a University of Minnesota student. The second victim is not affiliated with the University.

The victims were talking outside one of their vehicles when two suspects approached, threatened them with a gun, and demanded their valuables. The suspects took the victims’ wallet, cell phone and purse. The cell phone was later recovered after the suspects threw it into a nearby yard. Neither victim was injured.

The suspects fled to a car waiting on Talmage Avenue with a third suspect in the driver’s seat and the vehicle drove away westbound on Como Avenue. Detailed suspect descriptions are not available at this time.

Minneapolis Police are investigating this off-campus crime. Anyone with information is asked to call the Minneapolis Police Tip Line at 612-692-8477 and reference case number MP-15-132388.”

Hip Hop inspired by Pi Day

What I learned in College (Fall Semester 2014)

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Day One of Winter Break, I look back and think on this past semester. Fall 2014 was nothing short of interesting, trying, and above all, eye opening/mind expanding (whatever cliché). There was copious reading and unfollowed syllabi. One comes into contact with fliers on the walls of buildings; peers, scholars, and professors. A person can see groups talking in the mall in the sun one moment, and then weeks later, few huddled bipedals running bundled for warmth on sidewalks, and into halls. Minneapolis is as diverse in weather as it is in people.

The classes were four in number, and somewhat different; each offering a unique perspective on relevant, and mostly interesting topics- though Hamlet is still ubiquitous and rampant at the U of M campus (I am not sure if this is good or bad). I took part in a Science Fiction course which focused on social critique, a Film course which focused on gender, a non-linear Deutsch course which focused on focusing on the syllabus, tentatively, and acting, and talking, and projects which come with that, and of course tangents. I found solace in reading, in its entirety, Moby-Dick. This American Literature 1 course was enduring, yet all the same rewarding. And again, this entire experience did not come without the most important part, the people one connects with.

University is great for connecting with people. I came into contact with real-life actors, monomaniacal professors obsessed with Melville, and their TAs who wear low-cut shirts and gave smiles over discussions of hangovers. I met a professor named Craig who was the most loving, and caring woman; more open and honest than the average person outside of their homes. Moreover, I had a professor who gave me 65 percent on a paper, a fucking D, the first since high school, and it was deservedly. Examples of people I connected with, there were a million: AV a boy who carried his works in a backgammon case, Theresa who was a non-traditional student and would tell you that fact numerous times, but was as youthful as anyone my age, K, B, and D and everyone in German (H,H,…) anyone I forgot; all of these people were special and amazing and scholars in their own right. We took something from one another; student from teacher, teacher from student; student from student, etc.

These people appreciated like wine; ever getting better, and more seasoned. I can see vividly the situation where a human being is that, a human being. At 8 am in the morning we are all the same; we crawl from the warm womb of our beds to look into the mirror and judge ourselves, as we hope others won’t. We all have to get outside today, things to do. Whenever a project, assignment, quiz, or test came up, as a thorough student, I realized that the person on the other end was actually a person indeed. Writing in small letters would make it more difficult to grade, same as showing late would fuck up the flow of the lecture. I learned that that person had shit days, and had good days too. I was shown that no one is perfect, or always on time, or always smiling every second of the day. College enlightens humanity by showing examples of humanity. My experience was more personal than a letter grade.

What college has done for me so far is opened my eyes to new and unknown concepts. Even if I am reading and writing on subjects which have been read and written on a millions times over, I am doing something unknown and new. No moment is exactly the same as the moment before, even with all of the same parts involved. These parts are the people. I met people of interest, people from different and varying backgrounds; those people who took the challenge of academia as I did. We became parts of this semester, of this time, of this progressive movement called education, this system of grades and titles, and hellos and handshakes.

I think back to sitting in Walter Library every Monday at around noon talking to a friend. I would eat Cheerios out of a repurposed Talenti jar. We would discuss language, relationships, and the week ahead. We met once a week, it almost reminded me of seeing a therapist, this real-life person, with real-life opinions, sharing an honest and open real-life discussion over the things, any, which came to mind. There was no agenda, there never has been. That’s life. We walk guided by invisible strings. I sat and munched Cheerios and smiled and tried to focus on the person directly in front of me. Even the ceiling and walls offered a story. I would say, see you next week, and without text, without call, without social media, no convolution, it was so, like clockwork.

Now, looking back, I see a tinge more clearly of everyday life. The mind is a camera which captures and records. After each semester at the University I take something away, and I have left a bit heavy-hearted, and less and more of myself. I wonder: would I see these people again? Would I ever sit in the same spot with the same group with the same ideas with the same professor, words, ideology, and mindset? No. I do not think so. But now I can look back and take with me what I’ve gained. What I have gained is experienced learned. What I have learned is that we must all learn from those around us, and teach others as if they are learning too.

A dangerous relationship; how BNSF will end Amtrak

“Our records indicate that you are scheduled to depart on Amtrak train number 28 from St.-Paul-Minneapolis-Minnesota at 8:00AM on Friday August 8 and arriving in La-Crosse-Wisconsin.
That schedule has been affected by late-operations. Alternate transportation is being provided over some or all of your route. To speak to an Amtrak representative about travel options call us at 8772319448 at your earliest convenience.

We apologize for any inconvenience and want to thank you for being a valued Amtrak customer.

Sincerely,
Amtrak”  preston

Amtrak PDF: Amtrak Empire Builder Detours in North Dakota to Speed …
A dangerous relationship; how BNSF will end Amtrak,

Recently, times couldn’t be harder for Amtrak. The passenger train empire has been delayed indefinitely because of crude oil and fracking freight in North Dakota and Montana. As if America’s transit infrastructure couldn’t get worse, ironically so, it has. As we speak, passengers suffer major delays throughout the country while BNSF halts passenger travel for freight with priority, dangerously so; Amtrak pulls to the side as non-renewable resources are transferred nationwide, these detours and pull-offs create increasing stays at the station.

Generally, I take Amtrak for transit out of the Twin Cities area, to southern Minnesota. As I am not a car owner, the prospect of any bus, plane, or rail travel is ideal, and more environmentally sound than said car, yet if it doesn’t serve its purpose as a timely institute it lacks the one quality it relies on; movement.

Several times I have attempted to take Amtrak and each attempt varied only in wait time: a possible “three hour” delay, and a new list of excuses. One thing that remained the same was: we took a bus. The last time this happened, I took the opportunity to inquire as to why. The melancholic voice on the line described how he was unsure if he would have a job at Amtrak in a year because of delays caused by BNSF; passengers were keen to the plights of rail travel, and profit numbers were down. I hung up the phone with nostalgic thoughts of young America confident in its punctual mode of transportation; the locomotive.

It is truly sad to comprehend that the very thing that started the expansion of this great nation, the U.S., will get brought to a screeching halt by the depletion of natural resources and the need for corporate expansion. The Amtrak attendant explained that once the oil fields dry up the tracks will run smoothly again, because BNSF owns the rails on which that stretch of land (North Dakota and Montana) sits, and the land the rails sit on- that being said,  they won’t allow Amtrak to build on their land. It seems a futile enterprise.

Apparently BNSF is building an alternative track for freight; however that remains to be seen.

Amtrak has to realize that complimentary donuts and bottled water won’t make up for trains not being in at the station; and buses are not trains. The slap in the face comes when buses are sitting outside of the station and  trains are sitting near oil rigs, or near fracking sites, in another state; Amtrak attendants had previous knowledge and neglected to mention this on the ticket sight.

Why won’t America prioritize progressive and environmentally friendly travel- travel that America built itself on?

Is it because of natural resources and the money made from the sales of?

Irony comes hard when one must take a car over train travel because the resources that fuel that car are holding up passengers trains at the station.

Has the need for more seized the growth of railway transit in America, or have we neglected the very thing that could promote better transit throughout the nation?

I thought of this on a bus sitting at a train crossing waiting for BNSF freight cars to go by while our train sat in another state, this was in Winona, MN.